Word from good sources at the Walker Art Center today is that chief curator Philippe Vergne has announced his resignation and will be leaving to go to New York's Dia (Dia Art Foundation). I've emailed Vergne seeking confirmation, but haven't heard back. Update: The New York Times confirms that Vergne will be Dia's director, starting Sept. 15.
Vergne, who co-curated the '06 Whitney Biennial, has been a driving force behind some of the more interesting Walker shows during his 10 years in Minneapolis, from the recent Huang Yong Ping retrospective to his three-artist Heart of Darkness show (which featured Thomas Hirschhorn's haunting Cavemanman) to How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age, a curatorial group effort that benefited mightily from his vision. In 2005, he left the Walker to head up a new art center in Paris funded by Francois Pinault, but the project never materialized as planned, leaving Vergne free to return to Minneapolis. Last year, when his mentor, Walker director Kathy Halbreich, announced she'd be leaving (she landed at MoMA), Vergne was rumored to be on the short list to replace her; Olga Viso, former Hirshhorn director, was named to the post instead.
Vergne's departure is a huge loss for the Walker and Minneapolis, and I wish him only the best.
Photo: Cameron Wittig, Walker Art Center